Entire society must come together and collaborate for wetlands conservation in Northeast: Bhupender Yadav

Imphal: At the workshop, Yadav interacted with the site managers and the SWAs of the NE states to understand the priorities and challenges of wetlands conservation at their respective states/sites

BY | Sunday, 30 April, 2023
Representational image (PC: Joli Borah)

A Regional Consultation Workshop for Restoration and Integrated Management of Wetlands for the North-eastern States is being organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at Imphal, Manipur on 29-30 April 2023.

During the workshop Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav while highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder approach Yadav said, “different agencies should come together and collaborate for wetlands conservation”. Yadav stated, “wetlands often get neglected as public goods. The entire society needs to come together to protect these ecosystems”.

Yadav mentioned that the conservation of wetlands cannot be the government’s responsibility alone. Wetlands are essentially societal assets, with governments acting as a trustee of these assets on behalf of the citizens of India. Unless the entire society participates and partners in wetlands conservation, tangible change cannot be achieved, he added.

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The Union Minister emphasised that wise use of wetlands aligned with its natural ecology is critical for survival of these ecosystems. He also stressed that change in personal behaviours is the most important aspect if we have to conserve the wetlands. Mission LiFE is critical for nudging people for conserving wetlands.

At the workshop, the Union Minister interacted with the site managers and the State Wetland Authorities (SWAs) of the North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, to understand the priorities and challenges of wetlands conservation at their respective states/sites.

The workshop is fourth in the series of regional workshops (previously held in Srinagar, Goa, and Kochi) under Mission Sahbhagita. The Sahbhagita mission aims to conserve and effectively manage a network of 75 wetlands of national and international importance in the country with an all-inclusive ‘whole of society’ and ‘whole of government’ approach.

The Union Minister also released the publication ‘Cultural Significance of Indian Wetlands’. The publication showcases the cultural values of wetlands – and provides examples of traditional knowledge, local beliefs, festivals, community practices and folktales related to wetlands.

In the first half of the workshop, the states presented an overview of wetlands conservation in their states, successes and challenges. The presentations reflected on wetlands delineation, inventorization, preparation of brief documents, management plan formulation, and communication and outreach actions.

Mr Anoop Kumar V. from Sanatan Dharma College, Kerala, gave a detailed presentation on developing eco-friendly value-added products using water hyacinth by employing the underprivileged communities as workforce.

In the second half, three plenary discussions were held. The first discussion focussed on Amrit Dharohar and integration in Mission LiFE. The second discussion on Operationalising the Save Wetlands Campaign focussed on the key objectives and targets of the Save Wetland Campaign.

The third discussion on Integrated Management Planning focused on the challenges in preparation and implementation of Integrated Management Plans.

On the second day of the workshop on 30th April 2023, Yadav will visit Loktak Lake along with the workshop participants.

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